January 18, 2008
Lying To Your Kids 101
I answered the phone just in time before the answering machine picked up. "Hello?" I said breathlessly. "Hey, turn it on Oprah! You need to see this lady that is cooking today." It was my Mom. It was the 8th time she'd called me that day. I told her I'd call her back and had every intention on turning the T.V. on, but was distracted by one of the brats having a tantrum or getting into something they shouldn't have. Good God, what DO they want now?! When I finally pacified the offspring with my favorite discipline tactic, bribing, I sat down on my couch and turned on the last couple of minutes of Oprah. Who was this chick anyway?
It was Jessica Seinfeld. Who is that I wondered? She is married to Jerry Seinfeld. She was talking about her new cookbook "Deceptively Delicious". My immediate thought was why in the hell is she writing a cookbook, aren't they wealthy enough already and who made her an authority on food? I love food, but I've never heard of her. That's my pessimistic side that likes to unveil itself sometimes. Well, ok...alot. At least 5 times a day, but no more than 10.
She was talking about "sneaking" vegetables into your kids (and husbands) food. She was making brownies with spinach and carrot puree. If you've seen my ass lately, you know that I can't turn down a brownie. No matter what is in it. My interest piqued I began to listen more intently.
Now, my oldest (the halfling) will eat just about anything that I put in front of him with prodding over an hour or so. I threaten too. He doesn't dislike vegetables, but enjoys the power struggle. That's the future lawyer in him. And he's an expert bargainer. But, I've seen picky eaters before and I always SWORE I would never have one. My eldest has lived up to my expectations. He's six years old, mind you, so given the choice he'd eat Marshmallow Creme 5 nights a week. But, that is the beauty of being 6. You don't have to worry about weight gain, cholesterol, and daily antioxidant intake.
The Fourthling, the baby, is a completely different story. He's the child I will battle with to eat anything remotely nutritious. The child I swore I'd never have. The picky eater. Ugh. For fun on Friday nights my husband and I sneak vegetables onto his high chair tray and take bets on how long it will take him to discover and discard of a vegetable. My husband distracts him, and I put the game piece into place. Usually within 10 seconds he spots the disgusting piece of nature's candy and throws it off his tray onto the floor. We laugh now, but I can see this being a real problem later on. It won't be so cute and funny when he's 15 and weighs 300 pounds and eats doughnuts and marshmallow creme all day.
So the idea of hiding vegetables in our daily meals seemed like a great idea to me. Being a Mom, I know that I can puree veggies and sneak them into spaghetti sauce and meatloaf, but I never really practiced it. And those spinach and carrot brownies made me hungry. Being that it is a new year, and how un-American would I be if I didn't throttle into 2008 with the fervor of a virgin bride to do a complete overhaul on our eating habits. Plus, I really need to lose that baby weight, even though the "baby" isn't a "baby" anymore. So off I went to Target to purchase the book.
I rounded up the brats and loaded them into the car for our quadruple weekly trip to Super Target.
Now, I can't possibly walk into Target and only get ONE thing. It's a rule that you have to fill your cart up before you can check out. So, being the rule follower that I am...I triumphantly loaded it up with crap I really didn't need. Christmas stuff that was on clearance, goodies from the $1 Spot, a pair of shoes I really needed. Practical stuff like that.
Now, I can actually cook very well...I just don't get off on it like some people do. My Mom LOVES to cook. It's soothing to her. Me? Notsomuch. But, for some reason this cookbook inspired me to recoup my cooking gene and embrace my foodie inner-being that had been hibernating for 30 years.
Now, before I get back to what recipe I made first I have to clear up some minor gossip stuff. I am a celebrity gossip slut. I love the stuff. I get off on it. I can't go a day without reading my celebrity gossip blogs. I am completely up to speed on everyone in Hollywood. It's my only (well, not ONLY) vice. I do not tell just anyone this. It's too embarrassing, and well...silly. Who gives a flying fuck what is going on in Hollywood. So, consider yourself lucky that I divulged this info to you.
Jessica Seinfeld was married to another guy before she met and married Jerry Seinfeld. She "supposedly" went to the gym that Jerry went to in NYC for one reason only. To find a new husband. She timed her daily workouts so that she would be there when Mr. Seinfeld was also working out... and planned to "run into" him on purpose (while she was still married to the other guy). She evidently left the hubby no. 1 a few months later. Then she married Mr. Seinfeld. I guess he was too good to pass up and she had her eyes on the prize.
And then there is the hullabaloo about the plagiarism. Evidently, Mrs. Seinfeld's book is almost identical to a book called "The Sneaky Chef" that was published months before "Deceptively Delicious". Mrs. Seinfeld's book received more attention because she went on Oprah. The author of "The Sneaky Chef" is currently suing the Seinfeld's for defamation of character (they said some not so nice things on late night T.V. and other public forums) and plagiarism. I've read the excerpts that are in question, and I do admit that they sound almost identical. Weird. And then of course the fact that "The Sneaky Chef" submitted her book to Mrs. Seinfeld's publishing house twice, only to be rejected. She later found another publisher.
But, the book is still good and has tons of great recipes. I plan on buying "The Sneaky Chef" in a few weeks for good measure.
My first recipe to try out were the brownies. Here's my personal photo of the little darlings.
You can't even see the spinach and carrot, eh? You can't taste it either!
The halfling ate these up like they were his last meal. Here's how you make 'em.
Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (3 Oz.)
1/2 C. Carrot Puree
1/2 C. Spinach Puree
1/2 C. Firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbs. Trans Fat Free Margarine
2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Egg Whites
3/4 C. Oat Flour (or all purpose)
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt (Kosher)
First you melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Next, you combine the melted chocolate, purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine, and vanilla. Mix well until creamy. Whisk in egg whites, stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into an 8x8 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting and eating. Spinach taste doesn't dissipate until the Brownies have cooled.
I thought that these brownies were great. Of course, they are not as good as the unhealthy ones, but decent nonetheless. The next time I make these I plan on using milk chocolate or sweetened cocoa. I felt they needed to be a bit sweeter, but that is my personal choice. I like dark chocolate candy, but in my opinion it has no business being in a brownie. But, I can't pass up a brownie with 3 grams of fiber and that is chocked full of iron, folic acid and lots of antioxidants.
The Fourthling tolerated these brownies, but he thought they needed a topping of Marshmallow Creme. Ah, a child after my own heart.